A former Deputy Speaker and current member representing Jos-North state constituency in the Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon. Ibrahim Baba Hassan, has been docked before Hon. Justice J.U.A Musale of High Court 31 of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), sitting in Jabi, by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for allegedly submitting a forged academic qualification to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to contest in the 2015 State Assembly elections.
The lawmaker, who is presently a 3-time member of the Plateau State House of Assembly, was said to have forged a Diploma in Business Administration of the University of Jos, dated November 1996, and falsely inserted his name as one of the graduands in the “Order of Proceedings of the 19th Combined Convocation Ceremony” of the said university held on 26th and 27th April 2002 which he presented to ICPC investigators.
Hassan, who contested the 2015 Plateau State House of Assembly election again and won, was arraigned on a 5-count charge of offences bordering on forgery, lying under oath, intent to cause damage to the public and making false statement with the intention to mislead.
According to a statement signed by the spokesperson of the Commission, Mrs. Rasheedat A. Okoduwa, “In a Charge No: CR/136/17, the defendant was accused of committing offences contrary to Section 25 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, sections 157, 164, 363,366 of Penal Code Laws of the FCT and punishable under Section 68 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and sections 158 and 364 of the Penal Code.
“The accused person pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him and in view of this, counsel to the accused, Solomon E. Umoh (SAN), via an oral application, sought the relief of the court to grant his client bail based on self-recognition. He averred that his client did not show any recalcitrant attitude throughout the course of investigation.”
However, ICPC’s counsel, Agbili Ezenwa Kingsley, opposed the relief sought by the defence, arguing that the accused, as a political office-holder, could be recalled by his constituents at any time and would lose his privileged status. Kingsley therefore prayed the court to grant the accused stringent bail conditions that would compel him to appear for hearings no matter the circumstances.
Having listened to the submissions of both parties, the trial judge ruled that the administrative bail which was granted to the accused person by ICPC should subsist.
The case has been adjourned to July 3, 2017 for commencement of hearing.